make a rainbow cake slice!

 

I promised to come back with another celebratory plush pattern — and of course, it’s the rainbow cake slice pictured in the blogiversary posts here, and here!

You may notice that it shares the same colour palette as the plush clutch :D It is also based on my moon cake pattern, with a colourful twist.

I’ve had the good fortune of having a slice of rainbow cake at my sister-in-law’s bridal shower. And I must say, it tasted… like any other piece of cake. It was certainly delicious, but if I were to eat it with my eyes closed I probably wouldn’t say that it’s a pastry masterpiece. BUT I didn’t eat it with my eyes closed, and it was amazing. Look how vibrant the colours are! (Please excuse the blurriness of the picture — that was before I got a camera with a macro mode.)

Because I’m kind of a visual person, I’d say that this rainbow cake was the second best cake I’ve ever had. (The best is the Swiss rolls from the Chinese bakery of the green tea variety, both colourful and delicious. I’d highly recommend trying it if you haven’t already.)

And if you’d like to make some real edible rainbow cake, here’s a recipe. One can even make some rainbow pudding! Looks like a trip to the baking aisle is in order.

In the meanwhile, if you’d like to make the crochet (inedible, but cute!) rainbow cake, here’s how it’s made — all you need is some yarn, some free time, and some love.

Yarn: bits of worsted weight yarn in blue, yellow, orange, white, and grey. (I just used these colours to match the plush clutch, but you can use whatever colours that strike your fancy. Scraps are great for this project.)

Hook: 3.5mm

Other stuff: sewing needle, stuffing, white glue

Top: with white

Row 1: ch 2, 2 sc in second ch from hook, ch 1, turn.

Row 2: sc in first sc, 2 sc in next sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 3: sc in first sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 4: sc in first sc, 1 sc and 1 hdc in next sc, hdc in next sc, sc in next sc, ch 1, turn.

CORRECTED! Row 5 (ruffles): ch 2, in front back loop only, sl st in 1st sc, [ch 2, sl st in next st in front back loop only] 4 times. Leave a long tail for sewing, fasten off.

Bottom: with blue (or whatever the colour of the bottom layer of cake is)

Follow pattern for row 1–4 of top of cake slice. Fasten off.

Back: with white

Row 1: ch 6, sc in second ch from hook, sc in each ch across, ch 1, turn.

Row 2: sc in first sc, 1 sc in each sc across, ch 1, turn.

Row 3–7: Repeat row 2. Fasten off.

Inside (the rainbow part): begin with blue (or whatever the colour of bottom layer of cake is)

(In case you’re interested, here’s a simple tutorial demonstrating changing colour at the end of row.)

Row 1 (wrong side): ch 12, sc in second ch from hook, sc in each ch across.

Row 2 (right side): join white, fasten off blue. With white, ch 1. In back loop only, sl st in each sc across.

Row 3 (wrong side): join yellow (or the colour of middle layer of cake), fasten off white. with yellow, ch 1. In front loop only, sc in each st across.

Row 4 (right side): join white, fasten off yellow. With white, ch 1. In back loop only, sl st in each sc across.

Row 5 (wrong side): join orange (or the colour of top layer of cake), fasten off white. with orange, ch 1. In front loop only, sc in each st across. Fasten off.

Candle: with grey

Leaving a 6″ tail, ch 4. Remove hook from loop, tie a short length of yellow yarn to loop, then pull the loop close.

Leaving a 6″ tail, cut off yarn. With a needle, thread tail through the 4 ch just made, down to the first ch. Now there are 2 yarn tails at the bottom of the candle. Pull the 2 tails through adjacent stitches in the top piece, then tie them together on the backside, like so…

When the whole cake slice is assembled, fray the short yellow yarn tails that are supposed to be the flame. With a drop of white glue, roll the yarn tails together between your thumb and index finger. You might have to clamp it with a clothespin for a few minutes for the glue to dry.

Assembly:

1. Sew the long side of the rainbow part to the bottom of cake slice, along the 2 side edges of the bottom piece, with half the rainbow part sewn on one edge and the other half sewn on the other edge.

2. Sew the top of the cake slice to the rainbow part.

3. Sew the back of the cake slice to the rainbow part and the bottom, leaving the top edge open. The back is sewn on sideways, like so…

4. Stuff the cake slice through the open top edge, then continue to sew it close. (The top edge of the back piece is sewn to row 4 of the top piece — the row before the ruffles.) Weave in ends.

And here we have it, a rainbow cake slice! :D

I think it would make a great fridge magnet, either with a magnet permanently attached, or using this trick I mentioned at the end of the tater tot post.

Thank you so much for joining me in my blogiversary festivities! I hope you enjoyed them. As usual, if you have questions or feedback about any of my patterns, please feel free to leave a comment or send me a note, I’d love to hear from you!

Have a lovely evening, everyone!

 

one crafty year

 

genuine mudpie turns one today! :D Here’s a look back at the year past.

One important learning: trying my best to do something really, really well, regardless of whether it would be “worth it”. That was the thought that started this blog, and it is still the goal and spirit of genuine mudpie. Most of the things I make I don’t plan on selling, and I share my patterns freely, but the reward of the creating process is tremendous. I’m blessed to not have to think about making a living through the things I make, and I can therefore make whatever ridiculous things that make me happy. Writing here has kept me thinking creatively and helped me through some difficult times of doubts and uncertainty. And if what I make and share here can lead to one other person feeling happy or inspired or motivated to create, then it’s all worth it.

One wonderful rediscovery: when genuine mudpie started crocheting was the only needlecraft I wrote about. But over the past year I’ve begun knitting again, and along with it the gateway to the vast and wonderful land of knitting patterns. Though as I started casting on projects I’m also reminded of why I gave up knitting in the first place — things can take a long time to knit. My first project was this jacket, which I actually completed but took apart, because it turned out too big. Since then I’ve started and taken apart 2 other cardigans. What happened, you ask? Well, I would start a project and before I get past the waist shaping I would come across another sweater that I like better, so then I would take apart the first sweater to start on the second one. Well, this has got to stop or nothing will get done! My goal, therefore, is to stick with the current cardigan I’m knitting for my mom and to have it done before her birthday in May. I can do this thing!

One great undertaking: my Etsy shop opened after years of contemplating. I think having genuine mudpie the blog makes it a bit easier to make the commitment of opening genuine mudpie the shop. I guess it’s the fear of failing, you know, what if I put myself out there and I don’t get any sale? So it helps that I’m already “out there” through the blog. But I won’t lie, business has been slow. It’s a tricky business, because on top of the price for time and labour (and how does one put a price on that?), there’s the Etsy fees and PayPal fees and the killer shipping fees. So the plushes are not as affordable as I’d like to price them, and perhaps that contributes to the slow sales. I don’t know. But somehow I feel perfectly OK about it. I guess part of it is that once I sew a face on a plush it becomes sort of a creature with character and everything and I have a hard time parting with it. But I would certainly be excited if they could go to a good home and put a silly grin on someone else’s face other than my own. So the shop is open for now, and people can go visit, and I’m happy about that.

One awesome supporter: genuine mudpie would not be possible without my husband, Mike. The new site would not exist without his design and coding expertise, and my posts would be utterly boring without his help with the photo shoots. Most importantly, he was the one who encouraged, and continues to encourage, the whole crafting endeavour itself.
“What if nobody reads it? What’s the point of writing a blog if nobody reads it?” I asked a year ago, as I was debating whether to start a craft blog.
“You should do it,” said Mike, matter-of-factly, “because you want to do it, and because it’s fun.”
He said the same about the store too. I am so very blessed to have him in my life, someone who thinks that a crocheted tater tot is important enough to spend a whole afternoon taking pictures of it tumbling in and out a tin foil pan, someone who thinks that whatever is important to me is important to him too. I cannot ever thank him enough for being such a wonderful, generous, loving man he is.

And I also cannot thank my family and friends enough (there are too many to name) for taking the time to read this blog on a regular basis, and for making a point to tell me that they enjoy it. I so, so, so appreciate your encouragement and kindness. It means the world to me to hear that genuine mudpie made you smile.

One big thank-you: whether you have been journeying with genuine mudpie for some time now, or you’re new to this blog, and whether we have connected through your comments, or you’ve been quietly reading, I’d like to thank you for being a witness to my creative process by visiting me here. Thank you so much for stopping by, and I hope you continue to enjoy reading about my crafty endeavours and other musings here.

And altogether, it makes one happy, crafty yearHURRAY!!! :D

With much gratitude,
Trish

plush clutch

 

Welcome to genuine mudpie’s new home! :D

If you haven’t already, please update your bookmark to genuinemudpie.ca.

If you have previously subscribed to genuine mudpie on WordPress (thank you so much for your support!), please re-subscribe by entering your email address on the right side bar.

I decided to begin this new chapter of the blog with a celebratory project to share :D The idea of a plush clutch came from a comment that a visitor, Jenna, made on the comical neckwarmer pattern, which involves a 16mm hook and crocheting with multiple strands of yarn held together. She suggested that the same hook/yarn combination would look cute for a purse too! I thought it was a brilliant idea — I could totally picture a fun, plushy purse bursting with colours. So I did some testing, and the plush clutch was born! Thank you, Jenna! :D

It isn’t technically a clutch, because it has a strap. Clutches are for clutching and therefore don’t have shoulder straps. But I’m calling it such because it kind of rhymes… or at least it kind of has a ring to it… Um. Anyway. It’s real plushy though!

The construction is pretty simple, just one rectangle and one really long rectangle (aka a strap) put together.

It measures 9″ wide, 5″ tall, and 3″ deep, with a 47″ strap.

So, without further ado, here’s how it’s made.

Yarn: I used 6 strands of worsted weight yarn held together. If you’d like to substitute yarn of other weights, I’d suggest doing a swatch with sc rows to see if the stitches are too loose, and add strands if they are. Because it’s a purse the fabric needs to be on the stiff side to hold its shape.

Hook: 16mm

Other stuff: fabric for lining, sewing needle, two 1″ — 1.5″ buttons.

Note: To avoid extra, unneeded bulk I did not do a turning ch in the beginning of each row. Instead I just pull the loop on the hook slightly higher and sc directly into the first stitch of each row.

Bag

Row 1: ch 11, sc in second ch from hook, sc in each ch across. (10 sc)

Row 2: turn, pull loop on hook slightly higher, sc in first sc, sc in each sc across. (10 sc)

Row 3 — 24: repeat row 2.

Fasten off. When fastening off, I found that it’s helpful to leave a 4–5″ tail for weaving in. If tail is too short it can easily come out, because the stitches are so large.

Strap

I measured the strap of another purse (47″, that’s the length of the strap plus the sides of the bag — see diagram below) and made the beginning ch 4″ shorter (43″), because the stitches will stretch quite a bit after the sc row. You can adjust the length of the strap and the number of stitches in the beginning ch accordingly.

Row 1: ch 72, sc in second ch from hook, sc in each ch across.

Row 2: turn, pull loop on hook slightly higher, sc in each of next 6 sc, sl st in next sc, fasten off, weave in ends.

Join yarn at the top of first sc of row 1, ch 1, sc in first sc, sc in each of next 5 sc, sl st. in next sc, fasten off, weave in ends.

Putting it all together…

This diagram shows how the strap and bag piece are attached and the row counts of the front, the bottom, the back, and the flap.

 

Row 2 of the strap is attached to the front of the bag on each side. Seam with wrong sides facing out, and turn the bag inside out when finished.

I crocheted the seams together using sc’s with 1 strand of yarn and a 5mm hook, and I decided to do 2 rows of sc on the back of the strap to minimize stretching.

I did the seaming and the crocheting on the strap in one continuous round: starting from the top corner of right front, around to the bottom right, up 7 rows of the back, then crocheted across the strap until I got to the back of the other side of the back, 7 rows away from the bottom. Then I started seaming again, down the back, around the bottom, up the left front, then at the top edge of left front I crocheted across the strap the other way until I reached the top of right front, where I started.

Here’s how I crocheted the 2 rows of sc across the strap.

On the back of the strap there are “ridges” near one edge and upside-down-V shapes across. I did 3 sc’s in each “ridge” down one way, and then when I came around the strap the second time I did 1 sc around one leg of the upside-down-V, 1 sc around the strands of yarn between the legs of the upside-down-V, and 1 sc around the other leg of the upside-down-V.

So, after it’s all said and done the back of the strap looked like this:

OK, I understand that all these can be a bit confusing… I wish I could demonstrate this to you in person, but I can’t. And I know that I’m not terribly good at explaining things sometimes. So while I want to let you know what I did, I’d encourage you to put the pieces together in ways that work best for you. Here are some suggestions:

- sc along the strap before attaching to bag, then sew strap to bag with yarn and needle.

- Line the strap with fabric, then sew strap to bag with yarn and needle.

Either way, I would highly recommend doing something to stabilize the stitches of the strap. I once crocheted a purse and didn’t line the strap and it got stretched to nearly twice the length after being used for just a month :S

Alright! Now that it’s all put together, it’s time to line the bag itself. Here are some awesome tutorials on how to make a bag lining, and to sew lining to bag on Futuregirl’s Blog. I made the lining from a pant leg of some old khakis.

Then I sewed on some buttons. No need for button holes, the gaps between stitches would do. Note that I attached the yarn on the front of the bag, so that I don’t have to sew through the lining, and if the buttons ever fall off and I have to do some repairing I can easily untie the yarn. I hid the tails by hooking it behind the stitches.

To accommodate the thickness of the fabric I used the method that I mentioned in the wrist cuff / cup sleeve pattern to sew on the buttons.

AAAAND we’re done! :D

 

 

I love the soft spring colours in it :D But I imagine it would create a nice tweed look with some brown and gray yarn. Or similar shades of one colour would be lovely too! Might also be great with t-shirt yarn, or plarn! I hope you enjoy the pattern; if you have any question or comment please feel free to drop me a note! :)

Thank you for visiting me at my new place! I will be back with another celebratory plush pattern later this week! Until then, take care and happy crafting! :D

blogiversary and the BIG move!

That’s right! Genuine mudpie will be turning ONE on Monday March 28!

And to mark the occasion this blog will be moving to a new address! The new site doesn’t look very different from what it is now, but with the flexibility of self-hosting (and with big help from Mike!) I’m hoping to make it more organized and its information more easily accessible.

We’re still working on the new site, so it’s not live yet. But it will be up and running in a couple of days and I will post the new URL here once it’s ready :D

I will be posting there starting Monday, and a couple of celebratory patterns to share over next week!

Stay tuned for more exciting news!

botanical adventure

 

Last Friday Mike and I went to the Allen Gardens Conservatory. It was founded in 1860 by George William Allan, one-time mayor of Toronto and long-time president of the Horticultural Society of Toronto.

 

And today the winter bulbs are on display.

I can’t believe that having lived in the city almost 8 years I’ve never visited this place! I imagine that it would be nice to visit the park grounds in warmer months, but it’s lovely to visit in the winter too, because the green houses are so warm, with all the tropical plants and colourful array of flowers. One could almost forget that it’s -15°C and snowing endlessly outside.

I was happy to see the bauhinia, flower of Hong Kong again :D

I wonder how old this brass knob is.

 

I took most of the pictures with the Zumi. I figure Mike and I always have duplicate pictures, and since he brought his super camera he can take proper shots of the plants and I can experiment a bit.

I love this quaint little cactus.

 

Look how blue! The Zumi usually distort the colours but it’s pretty accurate with this plant — it’s really that blue. I’ve never seen that colour in a plant that’s not dyed before. It’s called the Jade Plant.

 

I was most mesmerized by this door, with the tree bark exterior. I wondered where it led to, why it had to be disguised… sort of. It’s quite plain to everyone that it’s a door. So perhaps the tree bark exterior is not a disguise? So why is it different from all the other doors? Hmm. And more amazingly, check out the picture of it — I didn’t realize how bizarre the focus was until I looked at it on my computer screen.

So! If you’re ever looking for great (and free) places to visit in Toronto I would highly recommend these gardens. Once the weather is nicer (and not snowing endlessly) we plan on visiting more of the historical gardens and museums in Toronto — there are so many awesome places so close to home that we haven’t seen.

And no matter how the weather is, I hope you have a lovely day!

no ordinary objects

From the desk drawer, local park, kitchen, and recycling bin.

Tutorial on how to make the ordinary paper clip looking extraordinary on How About Orange.

 

*Squeal* Totoro painted on acorns! How nifty! Instruction here (in Japanese, but with self-explanatory photos).

 

I can really use one of these buttons for the sweater I’m knitting — they’re made from branches! How neat is that? And with detailed tutorial too, on Shrimp Salad Circus.

 


I love this brilliant printmaking idea — another thing a pop bottle can do before heading to the recycling bin! Makes great gift wraps and greeting cards, me thinks! From Frugal Family Fun Blog.

 

Another must-try: making shrink plastic from #6 plastic! I’ll have to pay attention to the little triangles on those clear plastic containers (actually, this has sent me to the grocery store looking under every single plastic container to see what number it is). More #6 plastic shrinking experiments on Dabbled.

 


I’m sure there’s probably an app for this, but who would want to get out their phone while baking and get it all gooey and covered in sauce? Upside down apron with cooking guide by Perpetual Kid, spotted on swissmiss.

 


I love that the cymbals are made of the lids of the cans. Drum kit by Helmut Smits, spotted on Inspire Me Now.

 

Have a great evening, everyone!

 

happy spring!

Happy first day of spring, friends! :D

 

 

Diagram for my daffodil came from this book. But a similar one is posted here if you’d like to make some to celebrate spring’s arrival, like our friend Wage here.

Have a great day!

forget-me-not

It all started with a thought that came into my head one day: I’d love some earrings that look like forget-me-nots.

We saw these forget-me-nots while traveling in Nova Scotia a couple of years ago. They were so small, and so perfect.

Isn’t the blue just stunning?

And if I want to have something, I’ve got to make it. (That’s somewhat better than “I’ve got to buy it,” perhaps?)

And they’ve got to be as small as the real forget-me-nots, with the same brilliant blue colour. I thought shrink plastic would be perfect! Because it can make a really small, sturdy piece of plastic and the colour becomes more saturated as it shrinks.

And it did work! They were exactly the colour and size I wanted them to be.

While I was at it, I thought I would also make some cherry blossoms…

… and sweet little buttercups.
(If you haven’t seen ¡Three Amigos!, you must! It’s totally ridiculous and absolutely hilarious. My skin tone doesn’t agree with yellow at all; I only made the buttercups so that I can call them sweet little buttercups XD)

At the end I’m only really happy with the forget-me-nots. And that was the goal of the project so I was content. But there are still several things to fine tune. Next time I’ll have to sand the shrink plastic better, and pay more attention to my colouring with the pencil crayon so the colours are more even and less translucent, because the earring posts were showing through when I glued them on.

Most importantly I’ll have to find a better glue! I used E6000 and everyone raves about it, but it didn’t work at all. I let these cure for almost a week and I can still pry them apart. Actually I used the E6000 on my rose earrings and the roses fell off after a few days as well. The only thing that it worked on was my dahlia ring. So I wonder if it has to do with the size of the contact surfaces, and the earrings are just too small for the glue to work properly. I spent quite some time researching different kinds of jewelry glue on the internet, but they all have conflicting reviews. Super glue seems to work in the short-term (I used it to fix my rose earrings when I was totally frustrated with the E6000), but almost everyone warned against it for jewelry-making. Even two-part epoxy was described by some reviewers as hit-and-miss, because it won’t work if the two gluing components were not equal in quantity.

Plus I read that E6000 is toxic to people and the environment. I knew that when I bought it but at the moment I thought it wouldn’t matter so much if I don’t use it frequently. But the more I thought about it the more I feel that I should at least try and find a less toxic alternative.

So! I need a glue that’s strong, flexible (can withstand stress of twisting and pulling on a regular basis, because that’s how earrings are put on/taken off), permanent, waterproof, and non-toxic. If you have any idea, or a trustworthy glue that you’d recommend, please let me know! I would really appreciate your input.

(Have I ever told you about my love/hate relationship with PowerPoint? Ah, that deserves another blog post of its own.)

Anyway, I thought if I’m really careful I can probably wear the forget-me-nots a couple of times before they fall off the earring posts, and I thought today would be a good day to wear it, because we were going to the botanical gardens! :D

 

Pictures of our botanical day trip to follow!

Have a lovely evening, everyone!

shamrock

 

After several months of hibernation my purple shamrock is growing again, in full speed, as if catching up for lost time. At the end of every fall, every leaf and stem would wilt. Then around daylight saving time I would start watering it, watering a pot of dried dirt, believing that the bulb underneath the soil, the source of life that I can’t see, is still alive and will sprout again. And it does, every spring for the past three years.

On Monday I found the young leaves just beginning to take shape and open up.

 

Today the leaves are completely opened. Their colours much more saturated and they’re standing tall.

 

Well, their stems are also very gangly. I will need to add some new soil and fertilizer. You can probably tell I’m not a very good gardener.

The purple shamrock is called a shamrock because it looks like a shamrock. But, of course, it’s not a shamrock. The species is called Oxalis Triangularis, and their open leaves close up at night like little umbrellas.

Legend has it that a pot of gold can be found at the end of the rainbow. Well, in my house today I found a potted plant returned from the dead at the end of a long winter. The promise of spring and regrowth, even though it appears to be all ruined. That brings me hope.

I hope you find your own rainbow and pot of gold today. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

coming together

A piece of the earth fell apart, but people all over the globe are coming together to offer support and prayers. Crafters and artists are donating great work for the recovery efforts in Japan.

A bit of this and a bit of that — hosting online auctions with many craft bloggers; check back this Friday for a list of all participating bloggers and auction items.

Bloesem — list of prints and photographs, most with 100% of proceed going to Red Cross.

Bugs and Fishes — a blog that I follow and designs I love, is donating 50% of sales of the lovely cherry blossom headbands and brooches.

Creating Cupcakes — donating profits from the Konnichiwa stamp set.

Felt Cafe Japan — has a growing list of crafters donating their work for relief efforts.

Kitchen Sink Dyeworks — is hosting a raffle for yarn and patterns.

Oktak — Handmade cute clutches, coin purses and bags, with 50% of sales going to Japan Tsunami Appeal.

PataPri - based in Japan, donating $5 for every hand-printed towel sold until April 13.

Super Cute Kawaii - All this week, donating 100% of sales from book about trips to Japan in writing, illustration and photography.

This and That from Japan — Based in Southern Japan, carries Japanese fabric, craft supplies and craft books, donating 15% of all sales to Save the Children Japan.

Handmade for Japan — Auction in their Ebay shop featuring ceramic wares starting next Thursday, March 24.

And countless shops on Etsy pouring in their support.

Or donate directly through organizations such as World Vision (Canada / US), Red Cross (Canada / US) and many others.